Room Mate heads to the beach

MADRID, SPAIN—Room Mate Hotels is well-known for its city locales. From properties in its native Spain, such as Madrid and Barcelona, to Italy’s Florence and Milan, or—on this side of the pond—New York City, Miami and Mexico City, the boutique hotel chain has been focused on urban-gateway markets. Citing demand from guests, the company now believes it has the scale to branch out to the beach.

“It is something our guests were asking us when they visited the hotels: ‘Why don’t you have properties near the beach?’ We aim to please our guests and are excited to finally be able to satisfy this request,” said Kike Sarasola, president and founder of Room Mate Hotels.

“Our focus is 100% on guest satisfaction and listening to their requests to make us better as a brand. At Room Mate Hotels, we don’t think for clients, we think as a client,” Sarasola added. “Guests are already familiar with and love the Room Mate brand and we wish to extend that service to the place they want the most—beaches.”

Certainly, Room Mate has hotels in waterfront cities already—for instance, Room Mate Lord Balfour and Room Mate Waldorf Towers in Miami. But the company has upped these efforts, declaring it plans to open 2,000 new rooms in waterfront cities in Spain and abroad, with hopes to open its first property in summer 2017. Projects are under assessment for beach destinations within Spain—Ibiza, Majorca, the Canary Islands and Costa del Sol—as well as destinations such as Mexico.

TOP TO BOTTOM: Guestrooms at Room Mate Lord Balfour and Room Mate Waldorf Towers in Miami and at Room Mate Valentina in Mexico.

The strategy, it seems, is to mirror the urban growth. With one property in Mexico City and more than a dozen in Spain, Room Mate Hotels already has high visibility in these locales. But, Sarasola noted, “We will look to expand in the close future. Ideally, we would like to develop properties in the larger cities of Europe and continue growing in North America, while incorporating the new beach properties as well.”

And with this in-tandem approach to growth, the company has no plans to slow down with urban development. “Room Mate Hotels will open doors this month to Room Mate Emir located in Istanbul,” said Sarasola. “Looking ahead to 2017, Room Mate Hotels plans to open two more properties—Room Mate Gerard in Barcelona and Room Mate Bruno in Rotterdam. Our long-term goals are to have a notable presence in major cities such as London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and more.

“At the moment, our focus is on maintaining and expanding throughout Europe and North America in urban and beach locations,” he continued. “We originated in Europe and this is the natural space where we want to grow, and also in America, in cities with both business and leisure travel.”

As for how Room Mate will evaluate additional projects, Sarasola said, “Our creative process involves a variety of factors. All of our hotels have a different name and a different personality—no two Room Mate Hotels are alike. We begin the process by determining the best location and a unique space to house the new Room Mate property. Along with selecting a unique location and space, we select a designer who will represent the vision we have for the hotel and assign it a personality. We have worked with some of the best designers on past projects, including Patricia Urquiola, Lorenzo Castillo, Teresa Sapey, Tomás Alía and Jaime Beriestain, just to name a few.”

So how will the company’s approach to urban boutique hotels—including design, services and amenities—translate to the beach? The company noted that the new beachfront hotels would maintain Room Mate’s commitment to offering guests experiences that let them feel as if they are staying with friends. “We will remain true to the Room Mate brand, offering distinctive design, superb city-center locations, breakfast until noon and free WiFi all over the city via WiMate,” said Sarasola. “Along with providing our standard service, we will look to improve and develop new services to cater to the beach environment—such as bars, restaurants and beach clubs—to enhance our guests’ experiences.

“Guests need to remain the focal point for Room Mate Hotels as we continue to focus on how to enhance their experience and exceed their expectations,” he continued. “In doing so, we need to continue designing great hotels and implementing unique quality services.” HB

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